Outside of Montana or Alaska, you would be hard-pressed to find any place with more fishing opportunities than East Tennessee. We hope to help you find all the information you need for success on these storied waters.
East Tennessee is blessed with an abundance of waterways. Cascading from high mountain peaks, to brooks and creeks, rivers, and lakes, it is staggering just how much water there is to fish around here. You honestly can turn in any direction and find water in short order.
East Tennessee holds roughly 621 miles of cold-water streams in which to locate trout. Brown, Rainbow and Brook Trout populate these waters in abundance. Tennessee’s native jewel is the amazing Brook trout which dwells primarily within the small high altitude streams of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, though strong efforts are in place to enlarge the range of these beautiful fish including stocking on some of the lower elevation streams. Rainbows and Browns were introduced roughly 100 years ago and have thrived in many locations, however, stocking is also prevalent. Brown trout, the most resilient of the three has established a self sustaining population in several locations. The South Holston has a wild Brown trout population that is thriving.
Another fish that is abundant in East Tennessee is the Small Mouth Bass. An amazing fish to have on the end of a fly rod, these hard-hitting bronze backs are in just about every stream and lake in East Tennessee.
Other fish available to the angler are rock bass, largemouth bass, musky, striped bass and carp.
As you can see, East Tennessee does have what you are looking for. Here is a rundown of the rivers and lakes we call home, some basic information to help you get the most out of your angling adventures.
One last word of note. The tailwaters in East Tennessee originate at hydroelectric dams. Always keep an eye on water levels if wading, and also have an escape route planned.